Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

Farideh Moradkhani, a niece of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and an outspoken critic of the Islamic Republic, has been sentenced to three years in prison, her lawyer said on Friday, according to Al Arabiya.

Moradkhani was arrested last month after she declared her support for the ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran and called on the international community to cut ties with Tehran.

Moradkhani’s lawyer, Mohammad Hossein Aghasi, said on Twitter on Friday that his client was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison but her sentence was reduced to three years after an appeal.

Aghasi said Moradkhani was tried by Iran’s Special Clerical Court – a court independent of the country’s judiciary. The court is tasked with prosecuting clerics and answers only to the Supreme Leader.

Moradkhani comes from a branch of the family that has a record of opposition to Iran's clerical leadership and has herself been jailed previously in the country.

After her arrest, her brother, Mahmoud Moradkhani, posted a video on YouTube in which his sister is seen condemning the "clear and obvious oppression" Iranians have been subjected to, and criticizing the international community's inaction.

"Free people, be with us! Tell your governments to stop supporting this murderous and child-killing regime," she said in the video, adding, "This regime is not loyal to any of its religious principles and does not know any law or rule except force and maintaining its power in any way possible."

Iran has seen two months of protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, after she was arrested for an alleged breach of the country's strict dress rules for women based on Islamic sharia law.

Khamenei has claimed that the protests inside the country are the work of Israel and the United States.

"This rioting was planned," he said in October. "These riots and insecurities were designed by America and the Zionist regime, and their employees."

Earlier this week, Badri Hosseini Khamenei, the sister of Iran's Supreme Leader and mother of Farideh, slammed her brother’s "despotic" rule and threw her support behind the protests.

"I oppose my brother's actions," she said in a letter published online by her son.

She accused the regime of bringing "nothing but suffering and oppression to Iran and Iranians" since it was established following the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the shah.

"The people of Iran deserve freedom and prosperity, and their uprising is legitimate and necessary to achieve their rights. I hope to see the victory of the people and the overthrow of this tyranny ruling Iran soon," she said.

"My brother does not listen to the voice of the people of Iran and wrongly considers the voice of his mercenaries and money-grabbers to be the voice of the Iranian people. He rightly deserves the disrespectful and impudent words he uses to describe the oppressed but brave people of Iran," she wrote.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)